Presented By Atomic Speedway
(COLUMBUS) — The Ohio Department of Health will add a new dashboard Monday that will show the number of positive COVID-19 tests in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.
“What we had before was aggregate reporting, which really was a lot manual reporting from the lab where they would gather up their data, positivity and negativity and send us aggregate information,” said Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.
The new dashboard will allow people to see in each county, the number of positive tests in a two-week time frame. It will be updated every Monday.
“What this actually does is provide us an electronic feed, with an indication of that positive or negative result of the residents’ location of the person with the positive or negative. So now this electronic feed actually allows us to feed information at a county level,” said Vanderhoff.
The federal Health and Human Services Department issued guidance back in June 2020 for states to report individual-level data with a deadline of August 2020. However, it’s only now that the state of Ohio is doing this.
Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says it took a while to build.
“This is not as simple as turning a switch. This is information that has to be accurate, it has to be valid and for an electronic system to work and one that you can rely on, it’s got to have the vast majority of your hundreds of labs actively providing that feed,” said Vanderhoff.
The dashboard could also mean local health officials could determine if restrictions are put in place rather than the state.
“The more granular our information is, the more local the decision-making can be. But that’s a step or two away from where we are,” Vanderhoff.